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In the news: Wonder Woman!

A remarkable tale of bravery has emerged today of how an attempted robbery in Northampton was thwarted this morning.

A gang of would-be robbers decided to strike at a town centre jewellers earlier today, trying to smash their way into the shop windows by constantly striking them with hammers. The gang were on motorcycles, and staff inside the shop were seen frantically trying to bring down the shutters to protect the store.

It appeared that quite a few people were around the area, watching what was unfolding, when, out of the blue a figure dressed in red dashed into view. At startling speed, an elderly lady made her way into the midst of the helmeted thieves, and started fending them off armed only with her handbag. This Wonder Woman stopped the gang in their tracks, who tried to flee from the scene without achieving their goals. Two of the would be thieves actually fell off their getaway motorcycle, at which point other members of the public joined in to help the pensioner to restrain them. Apparently five of the gang have been arrested.

Not a bad morning’s work for Northampton’s very own newest super-hero!

The video that was broadcast on the evening news earlier was remarkable. I’ve tried to take some screen grabs as the lady approached the gang, but the stills are very blurry, however you can just about make out the pensioner as she is approaching, her magical handbag is in her left hand:

It makes a nice change to see some good in the news! Well done that lady!


Busy busy busy!

I’ve been a busy boy today!

Well, on and off anyway! And busy blogwise, of a fashion.

I very often find interesting blogs through the blogs I visit, and add them to my bookmarks so I can visit them later. Eventually, these get added to my recommendations page for easier access! I love finding ‘new’ blogs, and look forward to be able to read all about other people’s thoughts, ideas and lives in general. I’m kind of nosey in that way, but I mean that in a nice way, not an intrusive way by any means!

So, today, I have added quite a few new links to the recommendations page. The blogs are all individual, and different. I’ve enjoyed reading them, and feel they should have a place on the recommendations page. If you’re kind of nosey too, have a look. They are worth a visit!

My next task is to do something with the page itself. It is OK as it is, but there isn’t a structure to the page. The links are randomly distributed (which fits in with the general theme to my blog) but feel it could do with a bit of a rearrangement in some way. How that will pan out, we’ll have to wait and see!

Making your mind up!

It’s Sunday. I usually spend the first few hours on a Sunday morning just ‘pottering’ about, doing generally nothing in particular, but slightly more than the nothing I usually do on a Saturday morning – if that makes sense. I like to have a nice good think to see where my thoughts end up. This morning, my thoughts ended up in the realms of propaganda for some bizarre reason.

I like to think of myself as being open minded, and open to see both (or all) sides of any situation. I don’t think I’m too keen on being told what I must think, yet this morning I have found myself wondering if my reality actually reflects my thinking. I’m aware that if I’m reading an article in a newspaper which has a political angle, the article is written from the viewpoint of the author, so their political views very clearly come across. I can make out that they are trying to influence my way of thinking in a positive or negative way to who it is they are writing about. As I’m aware of this, I can get over their propaganda and make my own mind up about what I am reading.

But what has got me thinking are the articles I read about other aspects of life, scientific discoveries or even book reviews for that matter. I enjoy reading both, but something will always stick in my mind about the subject should it turn up again at a later time. For example, in the case of the scientific discovery, the first article may indicate that a certain degree of failure is expected in whatever field is being described, and scientists think it may take many years for progress to be made. A few weeks later, I may read another article about the same discovery, but my mind has already had the seed planted that it is expected to fail, so I may just skim the article rather than reading it in full. The same is true of book reviews. I may read a review that someone has written about a book by a particular favourite author, but in the review they may say that certain chapters were slow, or more action was needed or something like that. At the time, I’ll read the review, thinking along my open minded viewpoint that I’ll bear in mind what the review has said, but will make up my own mind when I read the book. However, when the time comes to buy the book, something will trigger this thought in my mind, and I’ll probably buy a different book instead.

Maybe my thoughts are more influenced by outside sources than I initially thought, and I’m not as impartial as I say I am after all.

I like my Sunday mornings. One other thing that I have thought about whilst writing this post is that maybe I should do a little bit more than normal, so I don’t have time to think quite as deeply about things as I do.

I mean to say, propaganda. Where did that thought come from?

Spudley the Cat

Spudley the Cat paid a brief visit today. She visits everyday, in fact. She’s been visiting ever since she was a little kitten, hardly tall enough to see over the step by the back door at my parents’ house. She would then – and does now – wait patiently until we see her, and then would give out a little friendly “meow”. She would never walk into the house… only wait by the door.

As the years have gone by, she has started, on occasions, to walk inside, investigating various corners and chair legs, but she doesn’t stay in long. She will go back to her spot by the step, and look in.

She has beautiful green eyes, that sparkle when you look at her and talk to her. She purrs very loudly when she is weaving in her figure of eight way around and between whoever’s legs are nearby. She loves the little cat treats we buy for her, and lets us know if she wants some. She still eats them if she doesn’t let us know too. I’m sure she smiles as well when being tickled or spoken to. And she is learning to speak English! On many occasion when we go outside to her, she will say “Hello”. That is the first thing that we say to her every time we see her, and I think she is copying us now. She has been visiting for years, so she must have picked it up!

She sometimes visits with some of her friends in tow. Frobisher, the black cat with the white patch on his chest and a little white toe on one of his back paws. His meows are quite deep, and when he was younger he was a very sturdy and bold little fella. He has now gone more ‘cat-size’ but still has his deep voice. Another cat who visits is Jasper, a ginger and white cat who also has a deep meow. Jasper is quite friendly, but wary. He will come over to us, but will also back away too. I think he may have some trust issues with people, but we welcome him just the same. Panther is a jet black cat with a big bushy tail. I think she got confused once, and was sitting at the top of the stairs in my parents’ house. She realised she was in the wrong house, and shot out like a flash when she saw us… she still comes back occasionally though. And there are others who visit, who we haven’t got the names for as yet.

Every one of them, the ones without names, Spudley, Frobisher, Jasper and Panther always take some time for themselves. They will sit (or lie) and just wait and watch. Sometimes for hours on end. You can see that they are thinking. I sometimes wish that I could read their minds to find out exactly what it is that they are thinking about. However, just watching them relax is relaxing in itself. Watching them play is fun. And listening to the tales they have to tell is quite entertaining. I don’t know what they are saying, but they get into their stride at times with some of their stories. Especially Spudley. She always has a tale to tell.

When she first arrived on the scene, when she was a little kitten, she was soaking wet. The day itself was a sunny day, but she was sodden. She was taken in by one of my parents’ neighbours, who said that they thought that someone had tried to drown her. Apparently she is also partly deaf. Whatever happened to her in her early days, we will never truly know. I think she has also forgotten about it herself, as she makes friends very easily with us humans.

She may no longer be as small as the size of the palm of my hand, but she still has the very same personality that she had when we first met many years ago. Occasionally, she will look like a bigger version of the kitten that she was, but more often now she has her adult looks. I’m not sure if she is the world’s first bilingual cat, but she is one of the world’s special ones.

Aquatom1968 in the Second Life

I’ve finally done it!

I’ve crossed over into a parallel dimension. I’ve become a virtual person. I’ve joined Second Life.

Lately, I’ve been hearing all sorts of hoopla about Second Life, so I thought I’d check it out. I visited the site, set up a free account, and got in. My first task was to dress myself. And a very snazzy job I have done it too… even if I say so myself! My trousers are neither too short nor too tight. They may be slightly short and slightly tight, but hey, who’s going to be looking? I think I look good there anyway. (And by ‘there’ I mean in the Second Life… before you think anything!)

Please don’t get me wrong. I am hopeless at any kind of computer game. I’m OK with computer chess and computer cards. I’m not bad with computer Tetris. And I was quite quick with the old ‘Snake’ game on the early models of Nokia mobile phones. AND I was pretty OK with SimCity. But that is where my computer game prowess ends.

I’m hopeless with the normal Sims game. I can get the people no problem, but I can’t manage to keep them. To be honest, they kind of annoyed me when I was playing them. Always wanting this or that, not doing what I wanted them to do, and being extremely clumsy. I mean, they are in a game. At least I can try to help people in real life, but these Sims are beyond help. Well, they were to me.

I had major problems with PacMan – I always got caught by one of the ghosts, and the incessant bleeping annoyed me – although it didn’t feel the same without the sound. Sonic the Hedgehog would never quite reach where I wanted him to either. I was always glad when these two games were over. Hardly a relaxing pastime!

So, against my better judgement, and giving in to my curious streak, I have embarked on the Second Life.

When I arrived there, I found myself in a kind of arrivals lounge. I could view all around me by using my keyboard, and I could look out from behind, in front of, or from the side of my virtual persona. I tend to stay behind though. It’s a bit freaky having to move backwards, and I haven’t tried the side view.

I walked around this strange new world, following arches and walkways, looking at various signs, and I stopped to admire a huge fish tank that is in there. Quite impressive, I must say.

All the time I am meandering around these unusual corridors, other ‘people’ are popping into the realm. Some of them actually came up to me and tried to start a conversation with me. Not being too technical about things, I didn’t know how to communicate back (although I’ll bet a pound to a penny that it is really easy, and the function is in my face!), but I do know how to clap and dance. So that’s what I did. I may try that when I’m in my regular haunt and someone comes over to speak to me… if I can’t hear them, I’ll just clap and dance. I wonder if they’ll run away like the folk in Second Life?

Another thing I have learned how to do is fly. I knew I would be able to do it one day, and now I can, in this virtual realm. I flew too high, which is never a good thing when inside, and I crashed into the glass ceiling. I looked quite funny, stunned but not falling. Eventually, I came back down to the ground, and also learned how to run. Walk, run and fly: three of the best ways to move about.

I arrived at a board, which reminded me of an advertising board in an airport, and it held a map of different areas in this world, whatever they are called. Somehow, I managed to teleport myself outside. When I last left, I was outside in this lovely garden somewhere, overlooking an ocean. There were little streams with bridges over them, buildings, parrots, and a table with a beach ball that I had to pick up and put on the table. I did this and won something, but haven’t the foggiest what it was. By one of the buildings, there was a party going on, and music was playing. Not being able to communicate with anyone yet, I decided to fly around the area and avoid chatting with any of the others at this time. I made sure that I landed on the roof of one of the buildings so I could see what was going on.

I may still be there now… I haven’t been back since logging off.

It is very addictive, I’ll admit. I haven’t really got the time to be spending as much time as I have there, but it provides a different way of escaping the ‘real’ world. Not that I really need to escape the real world for one thing, and I’m usually in some random surreal world most times anyway for another. Still, it’s fun.

I’m not saying join or anything, but if you do, look out for me. Aquatom1968. You’ll know it’s me as my name is constantly above my head. Come over to say “Hi” if you see me. I’ll probably clap and dance, but you’ll also be able to tell me how to speak back to you! I’m not there very often, or for that long of a time either, so you’ll be very lucky if you do see me.

When you see me, remember to take some of that luck and use it how you wish in your real world! Well, everything happens for a reason!